Will Brexit affect my holiday in 2021?

We've put together some information around some of the most frequently asked questions about holidays after Brexit and what it means if you’re travelling either to, or from, the EU after 1 January, 2021.

Before you travel

Will passports be valid after Brexit?

The first thing you need to do is check the date your passport expires. The UK government recommends that you have a minimum of six months left on your passport and it must be less than 10 years old. 

We recommend checking the latest government passport advice before booking – there’s an online passport checker tool you can use if you are unsure. And they've got specific advice on travelling to all countries in the EU to give you peace of mind when booking.

Please note: These rules do not apply for travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.

For the latest updates on travelling to Europe, please check the government website.

Should I allow more time for passport control post-Brexit?

If you’re travelling to the EU after Brexit then please bear in mind that you should give yourself more time at the airport, port or rail terminal and other border controls for passport checks. You may be asked to show a return or onward ticket or prove that you have enough money to stay.

Will I need a visa to travel to EU countries now? 

If you’re a tourist, you will not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

If you are planning to enjoy a longer stay in the Schengen area (that's almost all the EU countries, except Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria), you will need to remember about the 90/180 rule. That means, you may only stay in a Schengen country for 90 days in any 180-day period. This rule is likely to be applied from January 2021.

Different rules will apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. If you visit these countries, visits to other EU countries will not count towards the 90-day total.

However, if you are planning to stay longer than 90 days, or you wish to work or study in the EU, you may need a visa. For up-to-date information on which countries require visas, please check the Foreign Office Travel Advice pages.

Will I still be able to travel with my pet?

According to the latest official information, from 1 January 2021 you will not be able to use the existing pet passport scheme. Instead, you’ll need an animal health certificate (AHC) for your pet. Allow at least 1 month to arrange this and relevant vaccinations.

Check the latest information on pet travel here.

Staying in the EU

Will passports be valid after Brexit?

The first thing you need to do is check the date your passport expires. The UK government recommends that you have a minimum of six months left on your passport and it must be less than 10 years old. 

We recommend checking the latest government passport advice before booking – there’s an online passport checker tool you can use if you are unsure. And they've got specific advice on travelling to all countries in the EU to give you peace of mind when booking.

Please note: These rules do not apply for travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.

If you are a business traveller, please check travel requirements here.

Will the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) still be valid?

If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date printed on your card. Once it expires, you’ll need to replace it with a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

GHICs and EHICs are not an alternative to travel insurance and we always strongly advise customers to take out travel insurance when travelling, whether it is to the EU or globally. If you have a current annual policy we advise you to check with your insurance provider to ensure it covers your current circumstances and see if they’ve written in any small print around Brexit.

What changes will there be to using my mobile phone abroad after Brexit? 

From 1 January 2021, free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will no longer be available. Roaming charges may apply so please check with your mobile operator to find out about any roaming charges from 1 January 2021.

Travellers are, however, protected from incurring high mobile data charges above £45 without their knowledge. Speak to your mobile operator to find out how to opt in to avoid interruption to service once the £45 limit has been reached.

Will a UK driving licence be valid in the EU after Brexit?

Yes, but you may need additional documents in some countries. Check this page for the latest official information on driving abroad and getting an International Driving Permit.

Remember that if you are taking your own vehicle to Europe, you will now need a GB sticker.

Can I take food/plants into Europe?

You will not be able to take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries from 1 January 2021.

However, you should check the latest guidance on the European Commission website as there will be certain exceptions for infant food, pet food or food required for medical reasons. 

You can bring a limited quantity of fruit and vegetables as well as eggs, egg products and honey. Restricted quantities of fish or fish products are also allowed. Check out all the details here before travelling with food. 

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